X-Files and Californication star David Duchovny recently announced he had entered rehab for sex addiction. He has asked for privacy at this time, for him, his children and actress wife Tea Leoni.
So leaving that aside - what exactly is sexual addiction? Is it even a legitimate disease?
Sexual addiction is described as
"behavior of a person who has an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex. Sex and the thought of sex tend to dominate the sex addict's thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships.
Sex addicts engage in distorted thinking, often rationalizing and justifying their behavior and blaming others for problems. They generally deny they have a problem and make excuses for their actions.
Sexual addiction also is associated with risk-taking. A person with a sex addiction engages in various forms of sexual activity, despite the potential for negative and/or dangerous consequences. In addition to damaging the addict's relationships and interfering with his or her work and social life, a sexual addiction also puts the person at risk for emotional and physical injury.
For some people, the sex addiction progresses to involve illegal activities, such as exhibitionism (exposing oneself in public), making obscene phone calls, or molestation. However, it should be noted that sex addicts do not necessarily become sex offenders.
Behaviors associated with sexual addiction include:
-Compulsive masturbation (self-stimulation)
-Multiple affairs (extra-marital affairs)
-Multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands
-Consistent use of pornography
-Phone or computer sex (cybersex)
-Prostitution or use of prostitutes
-Obsessive dating through personal ads
-Voyeurism (watching others) and/or stalking
Generally, a person with a sex addiction gains little satisfaction from the sexual activity and forms no emotional bond with his or her sex partners. In addition, the problem of sex addiction often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. A sex addict also feels a lack of control over the behavior, despite negative consequences (financial, health, social, and emotional)."
Most professionals believe that sex addiction is a genuine affliction, comparable to alcohol or drug addiction.
Others disagree and say that because certain sexual activity is seen as deviant to some people (multiple and frequent sexual partners, unusual sexual practices, group sex, paying for sex) they want to label it as a disorder in order to demonize it.
Still others say the notion of sexual addiction is just an excuse for people to cheat on their partners and then claim a kind of disorder once they are caught.
An MSNBC poll showed 63% of responders felt sexual addiction is real, 30% felt it was an excuse and 7% were unsure. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21672658/
Have you (or someone you know) dealt with sexual addiction? How did you (or they) cope? Do you think it's a real disorder or an excuse for cheating and lying?
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